First & 2nd Temple were destroyed on 9th of Av

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QUESTION: Is it OK for a Noahide to fast on  Tisha B’Av? [The 9th/Tisha of the Hebrew month of Menachem Av, when Jews observe total fasting for about 24 hours and 40 minutes, as part of their traditional mourning on this anniversary of the destruction of both the first and the second Holy Temples in Jerusalem. When the 9th falls on the Seventh Day as in this year, the fast is pushed off 24 hours, and starts on Saturday night.]

ANSWER: It would seem that if a Noahide would make a full observance of all the Jewish precepts of Tisha B’Av, he would be making a religiously-observed memorial day for himself, which is like innovating a religious observance, which is forbidden.

The Western WallRabbi Moshe Weiner, author of “The Divine Code” (in English) and “Sheva Mitzvot HaShem” (in Hebrew), says that the only point upon which an individual Noahide could justify fasting on the 17th of Tammuz (the date when the wall of Jerusalem was broken through by the Romans) or the 9th/Tisha B’Av (the date when the First and Second Holy Temples were destroyed) is that he is mourning the temporary (but far too long) destruction of the Holy Temple, and the exile of the Divine Presence from being revealed in the world. Since this mourning is a permitted activity, it depends on his intention.

However, in this final generation of spiritual exile (which will be the first generation of the Messianic Era), people are not nearly as physically strong as they used to be. Therefore it is recommended that fasting should be minimized (e.g. by lighter and/or shorter fasting), if done at all, for those who are not obligated. Certainly a Noahide who has a medical problem should not fast if there is any health risk involved, or he should consult with his doctor as to what he can safely do.

Furthermore, the continuous obligation of Noahides is “yishuv olom,” improving the condition of the world, and one who is weakened by fasting might fall short in what he could have accomplished that day for yishuv olom, G-d forbid. Also, if fasting causes one to become irritable, short-tempered or prideful, G-d forbid, there could be an actual bad effect from the fasting, which is the opposite of what needs to be accomplished! In our days it is very acceptable to substitute non-obligatory fasting with donations to proper charities (the value of at least one normal meal is suggested). Recommended charities are those which are consistent with Torah-true principles and yishuv olom. Also, the main practical intention is not for fasting, but for repentance.

Therefore, you can certainly increase in deeds of goodness and kindness for others, especially in giving donations to proper charities (which are not in conflict with Torah laws or morals).

Certainly a Noahide is encouraged to pray as often as he wishes that the Third Holy Temple shall be established by the Messiah from the dynasty of King David (“Moshiach ben David”) very speedily in our days.

Historical accounts on audio:

- the “Three Weeks”

- destruction of the 2nd Holy Temple

Traditional readings for Tish’a B’Av from the Tanach (Hebrew Bible) are:
- the Book of Lamentations, written by Jeremiah (it very appropriate for a Noahide to read the Book of Lamentations on the night and/or day of Tisha B’Av)
- the Book of Job

Ask Noah Forum page on Tishe B’Av: